Survival of the Best Fit

By Trevor Meaker, Talent Acquisition at Starcount – In a rapidly changing world, characterised increasingly by brand convenience over loyalty, savvy consumers, and social media that facilitates anti-social habits under the guise of social connection, what is your business doing to stay relevant? More importantly, how does your role affect change and contribute to ensuring you’re still in business 10 years from now?

We’ve all heard how various start-ups and now highly successful tech businesses cultivate a culture of cool. I’m all for bragging about where I work because of the social benefits, relaxed environment and flexible hours. But what I think we need to be more interested in, and what we are working towards understanding better at Starcount, is how my work – the hours, the intelligence, the energy I put into my job every day – changes from just a cool job, to a purpose, a mission and a passion that drives both personal satisfaction and company profits.

Perhaps this is something particularly pertinent to working at a start-up, but I’d argue it’s a concept that can be leveraged to infiltrate change at any level in any business. Banking, for example, a staid and traditional process-driven business, perhaps synonymous with the rigours of London life, is not based on numbers but on relationships. Develop relationships with the right people and your career progresses faster; collaborate with the right colleagues and your ideas will be heard; connect with your customers and your profits increase. Walk into any Lloyds bank branch and you’ll be met by a smiling, at-your-service, representative who will personally connect you with the right person or machine. The demand for change in business output is creating a need for a change of input. How are you contributing to that change?

Starcount is hosting an event next month where we’ll be presenting on the “Store of the Future” – google that and the range of predictions are pretty much as accurate as predicted features of the next iPhone or Apple Watch. Amongst all the opinions, however, you’ll find some common consensus; with online shopping, convenience, efficiency, the feared “death” of the high street, we run the risk of social isolation. This is why we use our data and insight to forecast trends that enable our clients to deliberately design retail experiences that facilitate physical social connection, along with convenience and increased sales.

Shawn Achor, author of Big Potential, suggests a modification of Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest to “survival of the best fit”. Not only does this apply to businesses staying relevant to consumers, but to you staying relevant to your business. Competition inspired by a desire to pave the way for others and inspire your team is healthy. The school-taught concept of being the best for personal reward, standing out of the crowd and seeking individual accolades, is both outdated and irrelevant if you want to be successful in a modern business. Success, as proven by the likes of Google’s Project Aristotle and combined research between big data and neuroscience, has shown that we are at our best when collaborating. I’ve heard it said by numerous successful business leaders, most notably perhaps Phil Knight – founder of Nike – that your business and personal success is best achieved by striving to uplift, inspire and develop the intelligence of those around you rather than trying to be the smartest in the room.

What does that mean for you, in your current role? How can you progress your own career or business by sowing into the lives of your employees, your team or simply your colleague sitting next to you?

This article originally appeared on Trevor’s Linkedin.

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